What you need to know
- Instagram is going to test hiding likes in parts of the U.S.
- The tests will begin next week.
- It's all part of Instagram's plan to become the safest place on the internet.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has announced that it will start hiding like counts on its platform in parts of the U.S., beginning next week.
As reported by WIRED, Instagram has previously tested hiding likes in several countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Italy, and Brazil.
At WIRED25 conference on November 8, Mosseri announced that the tests would roll out to the U.S. next week. He clarified that it wouldn't be the whole U.S. but didn't further specify as to which regions would be included.
Rather than removing 'Likes', Instagram is testing making the like count on posts private, so users who post will be able to see their own like counts, they simply won't be visible to people who like and view your photos and videos. Likewise, you won't be able to see the like count on other people's content.
The move is part of Instagram's drive to make the platform the safest place on the internet. Recently, Instagram extended a ban on depictions of self-harm to include fictional content such as memes, drawings and graphic images from films and comics.
At WIRED25, Mosseri said:
"It's about young people, the idea is to try and depressurize Instagram, make it less of a competition, give people more space to focus on connecting with people that they love, things that inspire them."
Hiding public like counts won't necessarily solve issues around the pressure of Instagram and social media. Whilst the feature will prevent people from comparing likes on their own content with that of other people's, being able to privately view like counts on a photo means users will still be able to track exactly how many people like (or don't like) their content, which seems to be a core facet of this issue.
With that being said, users in the U.S. will be able to make up their own minds next week when testing begins.